In Ancient Babylon, at the bottom of the Tower of Babel, the battle was calming down. The berserk Steve had been contained by Pall Mall’s magic. The Nexus Maw beast was licking its wounds and fearfully waiting for the anti-magic cloud which held it locked in this dimension to end so it could flee. Pall Mall, McGreggor and James were in the hallway outside of the Nexus Maw room, trying to make sense of the Temporal Portal which had just appeared. Pall Mall used his dimensional portal sensing on it and discovered that the portal would remain stable and open for quite some time.
Trent radioed back to the group that he had found the god Marduk, and that they needed to ascend the tower again in order to find his tongue. Trent teleported himself, Jescha, Marduk and the shattered pieces of the Stone of Hammurabi back to the bottom of the Tower. With the Time Barrier destroyed by the temporal paradox Trent could now place a Time Stop spell on the Temporal Portal in order to extend its duration. From there Trent, Pall Mall, Jescha, James and McGreggor (carrying the body of the god Marduk) teleported back to the top of the tower to begin searching for the god’s tongue.
They spied the tongue easily enough, now that all the Nexus Maw dimensional spies/children which were tongue-like had been destroyed by the multi-level conflagration Trent caused when they last came to the Tower entrance. James placed the tongue back into the mouth of the god Marduk and the tongue re-attached. Everyone felt a burst of magical energy emanate from the god then, lifting the plague of Tongues form the land. Although now showing signs of life the god remained unconscious. James, Pall Mall and Jescha all used their skills to examine the injured and diagnose injury, but none of their skills were up to the task of discovering why the god was still unconscious.
Together they all traveled back down to the bottom of the tower, carrying the unconscious god with them again. Their journey was unmolested by any of the former creature denizens of the tower. It appeared as if the spider-demons which infested the tower had been summarily slaughtered, and the walls, floors and ceilings were coated in the spider gore and ichor wherever they had been encountered. The group deduced this was the result of The Naked Man’s trip through the tower behind them. Back at the bottom, the anti-magic cloud finally dissipated and the Nexus Maw fled in a hurry. Steve had also regained his senses, and was filled in on what transpired while he was in his frenzy.
James deduced that the god, despite appearing to have no injuries, likely needed to rejuvenate back to full health. Despite his incredible recuperative prowess it was going too slowly for Trent, so he had the recovering god moved into his time-accelerated dimensional space. Based on James’ knowledge of the god’s abilities that would allow Marduk to be fully recovered in less than an hour and a half “normal” time. To bide the time Trent, Jescha, McGreggor, Pall Mall, Steve and James all worked together to re-assemble the shattered Code of Hammurabi. When the final piece was put in place Trent cast the spell to “Mend the Broken,” making the stone monolith whole once more.
Marduk was revived by this act, woke up in the Dimensional Envelope and dimensionally teleported back to Babylon, then to the location of the Code itself. It was thus that the god Marduk appeared before the group. Grateful to the group, Marduk commanded to be filled in on the events which had transpired, and the group collectively did so (With Pall Mall introducing himself as “Hablar the Speech-Giver”). The god was stunned by the revelation of the chaos which ravaged his land during his absence and the deaths or disappearances of his fellow gods and demigods were even more disturbing to him.
He expressed his gratitude for their help. Marduk shared with the group the “dream” he had while he was out of commission of such infinite darkness and chaos that even the god Apsu would be afraid. The group bade Marduk to help them in recovering Pall Mall’s companion, Sonja, from the god Mummu – she was still his prisoner until the crown was returned to him. Marduk agreed to try to help sort this out, though he held little dominion over the traitorous imprisoned god.
They teleported to Mummuu’s lair in the Hanging Gardens. Upon entering the dimension Pall Mall was reunited with his bird familiar, Sir Altinius, whom he had left behind so long ago. They met with Mummuu and tried to reason with him to release Sonja. With Marduk presiding over the negotiations they agreed to try and barter for her freedom. Mummuu re-iterated his position: He believed Sonja stole a powerful magic crown from him, and unless either the true thief (the Pandemonium) could be produced and confess, or the crown was returned, then Mummuu was not going to release Sonja. Despite Trent having the crown on him in a dimensional pocket, it was decided by the group before they visited the Tower of Babel for the last time that they would not, under any circumstances, give that crown back to Mummuu.
Recalling that Mummuu was eager to learn Temporal Magic, Trent tried to offer the god two scrolls of Time Warp: Slow Motion in exchange for Sonja. Mummuu however held out for additional Temporal Magic, similar to the sort of magic which he had witnessed the god Enki perform. Trent was unwilling to part with more magical knowledge and could not provide magic of that level anyway. In anger that the god rebuked a deal he considered more than fair Trent destroyed the two scrolls right in front of Mummuu.
Pall Mall decided that this wasn’t going anywhere and offered up his companion James, the demigod of a pantheon which does not yet exist, in exchange not only for Sonja but also for the Dragon’s-Eye gem which Pall Mall gave Mummuu last time they were here, and some sort of magical scrolls. James obviously objected to this, as he was a free being and not Pall Mall’s slave – no matter what the Sowki may believe. With this negotiation also falling apart Pall Mall tried to invoke the Marduk’s law, “An Eye For An Eye,” and used magic to capture one of the Splugorth minions milling about in an attempt to exchange them for Sonja and for due compensation for “lost wages.”
Mummuu, however, had been interested in the prospect of acquiring as his prisoner a demigod for a Pantheon which would not come into being for many centuries to come. James realized this and, thinking it over carefully, decided to offer himself of his own free will as trade to Mummuu in exchange for freeing the wrongfully imprisoned Valkyrie warrior. Mummuu accepted the deal in a heartbeat, and released Sonja to the group. He had his servants start to lead James away. The god Marduk left, satisfied his debt to the group had been paid. With Marduk gone, Pall Mall used a scroll of Teleport: Superior to spirit away himself, Sonja, Steve, McGreggor, James, Trent, and Jescha to the door so they could exit the premises.
Jescha and Trent resisted – Trent still had other business he needed to conduct with Mummuu. The rest of the group convened at the entrance and they lost precious seconds while Pall Mall had to convince the noble James that what they were doing was right. Mummuu calmly ignored Trent and Jescha and opened a Mystic Portal to the doorway where the rest of the group were still arguing. Mummuu then took out his TW Slingshot of Annihilate and fired it through the portal opening before Trent could react. Pall Mall, however, sensed the opening of the portal and protected them by erecting a Wall of Defense just in the nick of time. The sphere of Annihilation was frozen in midair mere inches from the group. James, now convinced, exited Mummuu’s domicile with everyone else.
Trent gained the god’s attention and had a very strange deal to offer him. Trent would offer up the spell he offered before, for the god to learn, on one condition. Mummuu listened, interested for a few moments anyway. Trent’s condition was that the next time they meet again, in the future, Mummuu must not in any way acknowledge that he knows or recognizes them. Mummuu thought on it a moment – it was a strange, but easy request to grant. He accepted and Trent parted with a scroll of Time Warp: Slow Time, which the god set aside to learn. He then moved on to going about his work as if nothing in the last 20 minutes had occurred. He talked to Trent for a bit about this “new” discovery he was making, which involved negative and positive P.P.E., but once it quickly got over his head he and Jescha took their leave.
Everyone reconvened outside and, finally all together after months separated, they traveled together back to the Tower of Babel. They made their way back down to the bottom uneventfully and prepared to travel back through the still-open Temporal Portal. Trent intended to travel back with Jescha his own way, as this whole adventure presented a unique opportunity to investigate a mystery in his own past that he did not want to pass up. Since his arrival to the future would, in theory according to Trent, be before the rest of the group, Trent offered to take Steve with him so that he could get Steve home to his own dimension that much sooner. Steve gladly accepted.
James, Sonja, McGreggor and Pall Mall gladly walked through the Temporal Portal, glad to be going back to their own times. Before he left, Trent took this opportunity with everyone gone to examine all the treasure which had been in the room where they fought the Nexus Maw. He found some rune items and a host of other potentially valuable nick-knacks, which he stored appropriately to bring with him to the future. Grabbing Jescha and Steve, Trent cast the Time Warp: Fast Forward spell to leap into the future. Their trip too them to the coming of the Rifts, and from there to Trent’s past, where he visited the dimension he was from and watched it end bathed in bright white light, followed by the all-consuming darkness of oblivion.
With the apparent death of his home dimension burned into his memory, Trent took his guests and completed their trip to the future, arriving mere moments after they all originally entered the Temporal Portal to travel back to Ancient Babylon. Trent gave three Dimensional Portal scrolls to Steve and had Steve use one to open a portal to his home dimension. Trent followed through the portal with Mystic Armor on, so that he could gain familiarity enough with the dimension to allow him to create portals back here using his own “shortcut” method he devised, thus saving both himself and Steve a lot of money. Though the other two scrolls Steve retained could be used in an emergency.
Trent and Jescha parted ways and Trent spend the next six months before his friends arrived busying himself doing a lot of research, and other things too. By the time six months had passed Trent had some answers and some interesting revelations, but had also hit a LOT of dead ends.
When James, Sonja, McGreggor and Pall Mall stepped out of the Temporal Portal, Trent was there waiting for them. The Naked Man they remembered from Ancient Babylon was with them as well, and he recalled more of his memories but knew there were conspicuous holes in his memory. He was able to turn into the rune weapon, but unable to turn back into a human for almost two months. Everyone rested for a little while and then started to go their separate ways for now. James, and Trent traveled to what was left of the Demon City of New Calgary. Pall Mall came as well, for his own reasons, but first he used the one wish he had available through Aladdin’s Lamp to wish for his Sanctuary to be neigh impossible to locate or enter, which the Genie did.
James and Trent went to the empty slave pens in Calgary so they could release Solomon Kane (as Trent was asked to do, mysteriously, while in Ancient Babylon). Solomon Kane revived, ready for a fight, but calmed down long enough to hear out James and Trent. They parted ways respectfully, and Trent gave Solomon a method through which to contact him if it ever became necessary. James and Trent parted ways for now, but decided to reconvene in Lazlo in the near future.
Trent met back up with Pall Mall and they swapped some spell knowledge. Then they started putting together their knowledge and intelligence in order to try and determine what could be the cause of the madness that seemed to be infecting all the magical energy of this era. They couldn’t discern a point in the past when this may have begun so they focused their efforts on the present, and not these rune items. They theorized that something infecting ley line energy throughout the world may want to be set up at nexus points.
They went to a nexus point about 100 miles away from Pall Mall’s sanctuary and Trent was able to determine there was definitely some sort of additional element to the magical energy permeating the ley lines and nexus points, though they saw no obvious source. Looking for a more major nexus, Trent took the pair to the Stonehenge nexus point in England. They ’ported into a major battle, which a bunch of demonic beings (including something straight from a Godzilla movie) were squaring off against a group of Druids inside Stonehenge.
Trent teleported a Protection Circle: Superior scroll to them, which they warily used. It helped to turn the tide of battle. Both Trent and Pall Mall stayed un-observed and used this opportunity to investigate. Trent used the See Dimensional Anomaly spell to notice a small rift, smack in the middle of a major, active rift. Knowing this wasn’t a natural occurrence, Trent took one of his spare video radios, turned it on and threw it threw the smaller rift. It bounced around a red dimension Trent and Pall Mall recognized as Dyval. They briefly saw a large, active machine and a Deevil which picked up the camera and ate it!
Trent and Pall Mall remained on the scene, pondering exactly how they wanted to proceed now.